English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 6: Al-Anam — The Cattle (Revealed at Makkah: 20 sections, 165 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 6:1–6:10): Ultimate Triumph of Divine Unity


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَ جَعَلَ الظُّلُمٰتِ وَ النُّوۡرَ ۬ؕ ثُمَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِرَبِّہِمۡ یَعۡدِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱﴾

6:1 Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made darkness and light. Yet those who disbelieve set up equals to their Lord.1

ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَکُمۡ مِّنۡ طِیۡنٍ ثُمَّ قَضٰۤی اَجَلًا ؕ وَ اَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّی عِنۡدَہٗ ثُمَّ اَنۡتُمۡ تَمۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲﴾

6:2 He it is Who created you from dust, then He decreed a term. And there is a term named with Him; still you doubt.2

وَ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یَعۡلَمُ سِرَّکُمۡ وَ جَہۡرَکُمۡ وَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تَکۡسِبُوۡنَ ﴿۳﴾

6:3 And He is Allah in the heavens and in the earth. He knows your secret (thoughts) and your open (words), and He knows what you earn.3

وَ مَا تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ اٰیَۃٍ مِّنۡ اٰیٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ اِلَّا کَانُوۡا عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضِیۡنَ ﴿۴﴾

6:4 And no message comes to them of the messages of their Lord but they turn away from it.

فَقَدۡ کَذَّبُوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ لَمَّا جَآءَہُمۡ ؕ فَسَوۡفَ یَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ اَنۡۢبٰٓؤُا مَا کَانُوۡا بِہٖ یَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ ﴿۵﴾

6:5 So they rejected the truth when it came to them, but soon will come to them the news of what they mocked.

اَلَمۡ یَرَوۡا کَمۡ اَہۡلَکۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡنٍ مَّکَّنّٰہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مَا لَمۡ نُمَکِّنۡ لَّکُمۡ وَ اَرۡسَلۡنَا السَّمَآءَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّدۡرَارًا ۪ وَّ جَعَلۡنَا الۡاَنۡہٰرَ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہِمۡ فَاَہۡلَکۡنٰہُمۡ بِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡشَاۡنَا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ قَرۡنًا اٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۶﴾

6:6 Do they not see how many a generation We destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth as We have not established you, and We sent clouds pouring abundant rain on them, and We made rivers flow beneath them? Then We destroyed them for their sins, and raised up after them another generation.

وَ لَوۡ نَزَّلۡنَا عَلَیۡکَ کِتٰبًا فِیۡ قِرۡطَاسٍ فَلَمَسُوۡہُ بِاَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ لَقَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۷﴾

6:7 And if We had sent down to you a writing on paper, then they had touched it with their hands, those who disbelieve would have said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.4

وَ قَالُوۡا لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡہِ مَلَکٌ ؕ وَ لَوۡ اَنۡزَلۡنَا مَلَکًا لَّقُضِیَ الۡاَمۡرُ ثُمَّ لَا یُنۡظَرُوۡنَ ﴿۸﴾

6:8 And they say: Why has not an angel been sent down to him? And if We send down an angel, the matter would be decided and then they would not be given respite.5

وَ لَوۡ جَعَلۡنٰہُ مَلَکًا لَّجَعَلۡنٰہُ رَجُلًا وَّ لَلَبَسۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ مَّا یَلۡبِسُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾

6:9 And if We had made him an angel, We would certainly have made him a man, and (thus) made confused to them what they confuse.6

وَ لَقَدِ اسۡتُہۡزِیَٔ بِرُسُلٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِیۡنَ سَخِرُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا بِہٖ یَسۡتَہۡزِءُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۰﴾

6:10 And messengers before you were indeed mocked, but that which they derided befell those of them who scoffed.7


  1. The words that Allah is the Maker of darkness and light are directed against the dualistic doctrine of the Magian religion, which holds light and dark­ness to be two co-eternal principles. The religion of Islam is the purest mono­theism, and thus it holds that the ultimate cause of all things is the Great Maker of the heavens and the earth. Pure monotheism holds out before mankind the bright hope that, as goodness is inherent in the Divine Being, it is also the goal to which the creation moves on; while dualism considers the prevalence of evil to be necessary.
  2. The first term is that of life and the second the Resurrection. All humans are here said to be created from clay, which means, in the case of Adam as well as human beings generally, that the earth is the original source, and dust the first stage, of life.
  3. Life in Resurrection, spoken of in the previous verse, is here stated to be the result of man’s own actions, which, whether done secretly or openly, are known to God. It is out of what you earn that He shapes a new life for you.
  4. If truth had been sent down to man in the physical form of a book, and had not been revealed to the mind of man, it could not bring about a transforma­tion in the minds of human beings. But even if it had taken a physical shape, they would have called it an enchantment, and still rejected it.
  5. They wanted to see the spiritual reality of the angel in a physical form. The presence of angels was felt by the righteous in the transformation which they worked in their hearts but the hearts of the wicked were impervious to all good, and hence the only form in which the angels could make their presence felt to them was by punishing them for their evil deeds. Hence the coming of the angels to the guilty is always spoken of in the Quran as being synonymous with the infliction of the punishment with which they were threatened. Compare 2:210 and v. 158 of this chapter.
  6. If an angel were made a messenger to mankind, he would doubtless appear in the form of a man as the physical eye cannot see angels. Thus there would still be the same confusion in their minds as when a human being was en­trusted with the Divine message. Moreover only a human being could serve as a model for people.
  7. They ridiculed the idea of the Prophet and the believers being trium­phant. Truth had always triumphed, they are told, and it would triumph even now.